Township board mulls traffic control order

This holiday display along North Vandenboom Avenue in Marquette Township attracts a lot of visitors. The Marquette Township Board of Trustees is looking into getting a temporary traffic control order to limit parking near such displays to provide better emergency vehicle access but still allow the displays to continue. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — Yards heavily decorated for Christmas are magnets for people wanting to experience them in all their splendor, but they also can cause traffic issues.

The Marquette Township Board of Trustees on Wednesday unanimously decided to have the Marquette County Road Commission request a temporary traffic control order from the Michigan State Police for narrow streets with displays, notably on Brookton Road and North Vandenboom Avenue.

Township Supervisor Lyn Durant said she had asked the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office whether traffic could park on just one side of the streets during the holidays.

Durant said Marquette Township Fire Chief Dan Shanahan had expressed some concern over access.

“We might be able to get an ambulance through, but we can’t get a fire truck through, so if somebody needs to have some emergency vehicles when people are parking on both sides of the road to watch Christmas decorations or to get out and look at them, there’s going to be a problem,” Durant said.

The traffic control order, Durant noted, would have to address specific roads at specific times, with signage put up.

In a recent memo to Durant, MCRC engineering technician Pam Skytta indicated that if the MSP agreed that a temporary traffic order is warranted, the MCRC would present the order request to its board for approval.

Once approved, no-parking signs would be placed for the necessary duration, which is a maximum of 90 days since temporary traffic control orders are good only for this amount of time.

The TCO also would have to be issued annually, Skytta said. Trustee Dan Everson said a traffic control order makes sense.

“If you can’t get a fire truck through there when you need to, and it is a very congested area, I think that we definitely have to move forward with it,” Everson said.

He said Brookton and North Vandenboom seemed to be the most congested areas where people get out and walk from two blocks away to view the decorations.

“They’re beautiful, and I’d like to see the people keep doing it,” Everson said.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 550. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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